Star veteran shows Dutch courage

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Albany triathlete Dermot Buckley continued his impressive form on the international stage after finishing 17th in the ITU World Triathlon grand final in Rotterdam last month.

Representing Australia for the fourth time at the annual event, Buckley improved on last year’s finish of 21st in Mexico as he was the only Australian competing in the 70-74 male sprint division.

This year’s event entailed a 750m swim, a 20km bike ride and a 5km run, and despite storms in the lead-up, competition day provided perfect conditions.

The 70-year-old, who completed the swim in just over 17 minutes, said he had difficulty with vision.

“The swim caught me on the hop — the water was freezing and you could not see in front of yourself because the harbour was silted,” he said. “I came out of the water in 11th and it just put me a minute or two behind the main pack for the bike.”

Finishing in a time of 1hr. 37min. 16sec., Buckley said he was proud of his efforts.

“When I actually finished, I was disappointed I didn’t get inside the top 10,” he said. “But in the light of day, once I’d had some time to think about it, I was pretty pleased with where I finished.”

Buckley was training about 12 sessions a week in the lead-up to the event and said he was now looking forward to the summer circuit of triathlons in Australia.

“I enjoy it a lot still and there’s a great community involved with the triathlons, so it’s a great thing to be a part of,” he said.

“I am looking forward to next year’s World Triathlon on the Gold Coast.”

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